Using analytic arguments and numerical simulations, we examine whether chondrule formation and the FU Orionis phenomenon can be caused by the burstlike onset of gravitational instabilities (GIs) in dead zones. At least two scenarios for bursting dead zones can work, in principle. If the disk is on the verge of fragmentation, GI activation near r ~ 4-5 AU can produce chondrule-forming shocks, at least under extreme conditions. Mass fluxes are also high enough during the onset of GIs to suggest that the outburst is related to an FU Orionis phenomenon. This situation is demonstrated by numerical simulations. In contrast, as supported by analytic arguments, if the burst takes place close to r ~ 1 AU, then even low pitch angle spiral waves can create chondrule-producing shocks and outbursts. We also study the stability of the massive disks in our simulations against fragmentation and find that although disk evolution is sensitive to changes in opacity, the disks we study do not fragment, even at high resolution and even for extreme assumptions.